Managing Covid19

With week seven of lock down underway, times have been challenging for many, domestically and in business. Families are restricted to their homes with the light prospect of limited time to leave the house for some daily exercise. Children are still being home schooled and kept away from their friends, whilst working parents are trying to manage this and do their bit to keep the economy afloat. That’s not to mention the enormous pressures on our key workers especially within the NHS. It is said that for the long term the positives will out way the negatives and remaining positive is the key to empowering the country forward but what is happening with home deliveries and how are BIL helping these industries fulfill the ever increasing demands?

The country has seen a huge upturn in the demand for home delivery since the outbreak, especially within the grocery industry. With a wave of panic buying a few weeks back, the supermarkets have had to restock and regroup, introducing many new measures to ensure the safety of staff and customers, we have seen limitations on purchasing quantities of various product lines and safe social distancing measures set out when moving throughout the stores, including one way systems. Of course, the safest way for many customers to receive their groceries is by delivery and for some who are self isolating or vulnerable this is there only reliant way of getting the essentials. Some chains have been describing it like ‘Christmas week’ every week since this all began, it is truly unimaginable the strains that this must be putting on the industry and staff.

Of course, on the flip side of all the negatives we are starting to witness the truly great British spirit that we are so well known for. In an ideal world food bank charities would not be needed but to see how these have been formed and how the volunteers have really put themselves to the task has been extremely inspiring, so much so that BIL Group will shortly be hoping to help in our own way.

Some supermarket chains are nearly upwards of one million online orders per week, something that is rarely seen and the industry has had to adapt very quickly in order to cater for these ever growing demands. Fleet sizes have increased rapidly, requirements for new drivers and internal warehouse staff has increased. Even an aircraft pilot was reported to be out and about on deliveries, albeit in a van not aircraft!

At BIL we have a long history with many of the grocery delivery companies across the UK and have long established connections with their colleagues. With delivery slots filling up, the demand for our handling equipment has increased and we have been continuously supplying them throughout this period to ensure we are supplying each store with the necessary equipment to carry out the job efficiently and safely.

Even before the outbreak stock levels were a big part of our armoury, this combined with our UK manufacturing facility means we have been able to be flexible and quickly adapt in the same way the industry has had to, making sure our input / output operations remain constant whilst the process remains as consistent as possible.

Keeping our staff safe during this period is of course a priority and we have introduced various distancing measures including staff working from home and split shifts in our works, is it ideal? No however safety is paramount. We also know the value our range has to the industry, we have had to put all of our virtues fully into practice whilst continuing to follow government guidelines. Our fantastic staff have adapted tremendously and we will keep a safe efficient practise until this ends.

Ultimately we are proud to work with the companies that we do and we hope that when we look back on this in the future we can be proud of what we have done as a group and UK manufacturer.

Sack Trucks and Trolleys – Safe Handling

Making Safe Use of your Sack Trolley

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When considering the safe use of your sack truck or sack trolley, you need to focus not just on the sack truck itself but the other key areas that impact on its usage. These will be;

  • the load you are transporting
  • the environment in which you are using the sack truck
  • the person who is using the sack truck

Taking each of these in turn we’ll look at the important factors that should be considered to ensure the safe use of your sack truck.

The sack truck

Select the right tool for the job. Sack trucks or hand trucks come in many forms, with different design variations being applied to address different applications. For example in our own AluTruk range we have sack trucks designed specifically for; Keg Handling, Food And Drink Delivery, Grocery Home Delivery, White Goods Delivery, Basic Warehouse applications and Courier Deliveries to name just a few!

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This means selecting the correct sack truck for your requirements is an important consideration and will certainly make using the sack truck much safer and easier. Using the wrong type of sack truck is likely to cause problems and increase the risk of avoidable accidents and damage to both people and goods.

A second key consideration in the safe use of your sack truck is to check that you are not exceeding the manufacturers stated safe operating limits of the sack truck. A sack truck designed to carry 300kg safely should not be used to shift 500kg loads. That is simply asking for trouble.

As a guide we would recommend that you should generally operate at 20% less than the stated capacity – as this will obviously keep you well within the safe operating limits and also your sack truck will perform better and last longer.

Regular Equipment Checks. In an ideal world you would always have a process in place for checking the “health” of your sack truck before use.

  • Handles – make sure they are safe. Check any bends, joins or welds for signs of cracking, rusting or other indicators of excessive wear, damage or potential failure
  • Toe Plate – (aka foot or nose plate). Check the integrity of the toe plate carefully. Look for any bending of the plate – this will indicate that the sack truck has been exposed to an excessive force and / or there may be damage or wear on the joins and welds.
  • Tyres – check the treads on the tyres and the tyre pressures. Over or under-inflating the tyres will impact on performance of the sack truck and could compromise safe handling.
  • Wheels – check for excessive play in the wheels which could indicate undue wear on the bearings. Make sure the bearings are greased sufficiently .Check around the axel and examine the wheels for cracks or fractures. Make sure any wheel nuts or split pin fixings are secure. Check that nothing is impeding the rotation of the wheels – small stones, bits of metal and grit for example.
  • Axel – check for signs of bending, rust or the start of fractures. The axel is a key load bearing component – it has a hard life.
  • Other fittings – check that they are functional and operating correctly. Examine them for any signs of excessive wear and tear – cracking, bending, chaffing etc.

Tedious though this checking process might be, it could save you from experiencing problems or even an accident with the sack truck which may cost you a lot more in delays, disruption and money than five minutes of time before use.

We can provide a full range of hand truck parts and spares to extend the life of your sack truck or even to adapt or improve your existing hand truck. (Applies to our AluTruk range.)

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The Sack Trolley Load

As stated above – make sure that the sack truck you are using is capable of handling the loads that you wish to move. There will likely be a specific ally designed sack truck for whatever it is that you are handling.

That said there are also some common sense rules that should be applied to help you to safely move your load from A to B:

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  • Don’t exceed the recommended load capacity
  • Consider weight distribution – don’t stack heavier items on top of lighter ones or wider items on top of narrower ones – and if you are shifting something that weighs heavier on one side than the other ( a fridge is the classic example here ) make sure the heavier side goes against the back rest of the sack truck.
  • Make sure the load is not impeding the operation of the sack truck – e.g. rubbing on the wheels, dragging on the floor, obstructing the operator from holding the handles correctly.
  • Can one person move this load – safely? You really must answer this question honestly. Trying to save time by using one person on what should be a two person job can have serious consequences resulting in much more time lost and money spent than if two people had done that task.
  • Will the load move when in transit? Consider this one carefully – will the packaging around the product hold the load securely or could it start to crumple, bend or fold when stacked or in transit. Transporting liquid loads is definitely one to think about – a sudden stop by the sack truck will not be matched by the liquid load – that will still try to keep moving forward. Correctly securing liquid loads is essential to safe sack truck usage.
    AluTruk supplies sack trucks specifically designed to shift liquid loads safely and efficiently. See our Keg Handling and Water Bottle sack trucks.

The Operating Environment

Consideration of the environment in which your sack truck will be working is extremely important. It may be dry in the warehouse with a level, flat floor surface on which your sack truck works well but take it outside that environment and on to the streets – with kerbs, uneven pavement surfaces, steps, doors and other hazards – and then add in wind, rain, ice and busy distracted pedestrians (let alone impatient traffic) and you have a very different scenario – one which your trusty warehouse sack truck just cannot cope with.

This is why consideration of the operating environment is so important and making sure that you have the correct sack truck to cope safely with that is crucial to safe sack truck use.

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At AluTruk we are aware of all of the difficulties and obstacles that can impede safe sack truck use and therefore we have designed adaptations and enhancements to our sack truck range to overcome these challenges. For example;

  • if you work in an environment that frequently requires you to climb up stairs – invest in stair climber sack trucks and make life easier and safer.
  • Rough terrain? If you have to cope with shifting loads over uneven, rough terrain make sure you are using the correct sack truck wheels for the prevalent surface conditions.
  • Street deliveries will typically mean that kerbs will be an issue. In that case make sure you take a portable kerb ramp out with you.

The Human Element

This is the fourth but clearly the most important element to consider when looking to use sack trucks safely.

Physical Demands – The first consideration must be whether the operator physically capable of using the equipment – and not just once or twice but consistently as required throughout the day. Depending on the loads being shifted it will require a certain level of strength to operate the sack truck safely. Depending on the amount of work and the weight of the loads being shifted you may need to schedule in breaks and recovery time for the operators.

Properly Equipped – you must consider if the operator is properly equipped, both personally – with appropriate gloves, safety boots, hi viz clothing etc. and also with the equipment they require to secure and move the loads safely e.g. suitable straps, kerb ramps, door stops (for holding doors open) etc.

Properly Trained – this is a must for your own legal protection in the event of an accident involving the use of the sack truck. On the face of it it’s a simple tool but the potential for serious injury if it is misused is significant. You should have a basic training course that is given to anyone using the sack truck. This of course will include making them aware of the dangers of incorrect usage – e.g. some or all of the things discussed in this article (N.B. This is not your training course though! Other things not listed here may need to be included.)

Operator or Operators? Some tasks might require two people to fulfil it safely. Cutting corners to save time or costs is one of the main reasons behind accidents. In the long term all the time and money saved by cutting corners can be wiped out and more in one accident.

Over Worked and Under Pressure – consider the work load or work schedule that is being applied to the operator. Unrealistic expectations in this area can lead to mistakes being made and accidents occurring due to fatigue or rushing to meet deadlines. The saying “more haste less speed” is generally true. In the medium to long term, realistic, achievable workloads/schedules will benefit everyone; the business, the employees and the customers.

Tired, stressed workers are typically much less productive, less customer friendly and more accident prone.

At BIL Group we specialise in designing, manufacturing and supplying high quality Materials Handling equipment. If you have any requirements to safely move, store and handle goods and products of any size, volume or description please don’t hesitate to ask how we could help you.

We have assisted many many companies, large and small, with their specific materials handling requirements saving them both time and money in the process.

Contact us today. We’d be delighted to hear from you. Work safely!

Moving and Handling Kegs?

You need AluTruk’s specialist keg handling sack truck

For several years now, The BIL Group have supplied breweries nationwide with our acclaimed AluTruk range. Small batch brewers right up to some of the biggest names in the industry use the AluTruk sack truck range as a tried and tested day to day solution for transporting kegs of all sizes.

click here to view the AluTruk Keg Handling range!

Move Kegs Safely with AluTruk’s Specialist Keg Handling Sack Truck

Moving kegs safely is made efficient and easy with our specially designed keg handling attachment which has been proven over many years within the brewery industry to reduce injury and prevent lost time.

Lightweight yet Durable

Unlike its steel counterpart, the AluTruk is lightweight yet durable – tested and certified to carry a 300kg load capacity. With a combination of curved back frame and keg hook assembly you can load kegs securely onto to the sack truck providing stability and ease of use.

Full control under load is maintained using a dual grip handle design giving the user the confidence when on the move combining with the secured keg for ultimate reassurance.

Full kegs are easy to move due to the unique design of the AluTruk puncture proof wheels. The wheels have a crowned tread giving less point of contact when under load allowing an easier pivot and much reduced push / pull efforts as proven in some of our rigorous ongoing product testing.

Customise your Keg Handling Sack Truck

At the BIL Group we can supply you with Keg handling AluTruks designed to suit your very own requirements whether this be with a different handle configuration, footplate size or even the addition of stair glides and wheel guards to fully maximise your AluTruk investment.

If you require a tried and tested keg handling sack truck solution for your business or if you have any questions about moving and handling kegs safely please contact us and ask about our AluTruk range. We’d be delighted to assist you.

Carrying Water The AluTruk Way!

AluTruk® – Carrying Water The AluTruk Way!

The Water Bottle AluTruk® is the ideal solution for manual handling within the water cooler industry. They create a safe and efficient solution to maneuvering water bottles over short or long distances.

As with our standard modular AluTruk® range the sack trucks are ergonomically designed to the highest quality and come fitted with puncture proof tyres as standard. The benefit being that they are solid so therefore no risk of puncture and as they are fitted with precision bearings this creates a smooth ride over nearly every type of surface including indoors, gravel, tarmac and grass.

BIL Group provide two water truck options as standard. The first can carry up to five bottles with the second capable of carrying seven. Each sack truck has a tested and certified load capacity of 300kg with each individual water tray able to safely take a weight of 25kg each. Well within the overall weight of a standard 18.9L water bottle.

The Water bottle trucks are ideal for use within small offices, Schools and large multinational companies. The Seven-bottle version is fitted with dual grip handles along with a U-loop providing ultimate control when under load and on the move. It also comes with skid bars at the rear which makes negotiating kerbs / stairways much easier. The biggest difference with this truck is its capability to carry more water bottles meaning fewer overall journeys on the job, therefore making the overall visit to the customer more efficient.

The five-bottle version is lighter and makes shorter distance deliveries safe and quick. Simply load the bottles onto the unfolded trays and you are ready to go.

BIL Group provide these water trucks to a whole host of companies including the likes of Eden Spring and Angel Springs.

We have supplied these products into the industry for many years and have the added benefit of being able to supply spare parts which are readily available.

Sack Truck Buyers Guide

Find the ideal AluTruk® for your needs

We understand that ultimately you just want to purchase a sack truck that does the job intended. You want it to last the test of time, be lightweight and be capable of carrying the weight you require. We also know however that each variation of our AluTruk range is designed with the user and their requirements in mind.

This guide will hopefully explain some of the sack truck options we can offer, so you can really get a feel for which design would suit your needs best. Anything not explained may be answered in our FAQ section or alternatively feel free to give us a call on 01249 470433.

Sack Truck options – Steel vs Aluminium

There are a few good reasons we solely focus on the manufacture of our own aluminium style sack trucks – more commonly known as the AluTruk range – rather than suppling tubular steel trucks.

We pride ourselves on the quality in detail. This is not to say all steel sack trucks are low quality, in fact manufactured correctly some can be made to a high standard  but – due to the nature of steel  –  they are generally much heavier than an aluminium style sack barrow. This makes them harder to manoeuvre. A classic example is where they are stowed on a vehicle to be regularly used then – due to the lift required to get them on and off the lorry – this poses a real risk of injury.

With aluminium sack trucks being lighter they also become more agile when under load making them ideal for delivery drivers with multiple drop points. Being lighter they also adhere to many of our customers health and safety standards.

Our AluTruk sack trucks are tested and certified to a max load of 300kg and are almost weld free – meaning much fewer potential  points of weakness . Being modular is a major positive as you are easily able to replace individual parts whereas on many steel sack trucks a broken weld effectively ends the life of the sack truck. Although Aluminium is a more expensive product we believe it to be well worth the investment if you are looking for a longer standing and more durable product.

Sack Truck Wheels – Puncture Proof or Pneumatic Tyres?

Tyres / wheels are generally one of the biggest problem areas we are told about by new customers who have purchased many different trucks from many sack truck suppliers. We are constantly told  of their frustrations caused by;

  • punctures due to low quality inner tubes on Pneumatic wheels
  • bearing collapse due to incorrect tolerances between bearing and the axle
  • a general difficulty to push trucks whilst under load

As standard we aim to offer our customers our most popular and reliable wheel type which is a 260mm Puncture Proof tyre on steel centre.

This tyre is Polyurethane filled at 1500 grammes content to eliminate compression when under load. The tread of the tyre is crowned therefore under load minimal contact with the surface makes the truck easy to manoeuvre. Furthermore we use the highest quality bearings that sit flush on the axle – for greater efficiency – and these bearings are provided with a lifetime guarantee!

We do also offer a Pneumatic style wheel using the same bearings with lifetime guarantee and crowned tread. We use a 6ply tyre for additional durability. The primary benefit of a high quality pneumatic wheel is their natural ‘give’ over rough surfaces such as grass or gravel. The rim we use is three piece meaning that if a new tyre / inner tube is required then it can be easily replaced.

Sack Truck Footplates – Fixed or Folding?

The type of sack truck footplate you opt for comes down to how the truck is most likely to be used. As standard we offer four variants of footplate, all different in size.

The footplate is the loading point of the sack truck – so it is important the correct design is chosen for your application.

Three of our four AluTruk foot plates can be made folding and all can be fixed but what’s the difference?

A fixed footplate is set in place, will not move and will always be ready to use instantly. This is extremely beneficial for use in warehouses or around the yard when you have multiple movements to make for a particular task. In addition the fact that there are fewer moveable parts will naturally improve the durability of the sack barrow.

M24+23Y10A folding plate is advantageous if sack truck storage space is limited. For example if the truck is used predominantly out on the delivery vans then stowing it correctly and safely becomes important. A folding plate will allow the user to sit the sack truck flush against the side of the vehicle – some of our customers have a locking system or even a specially designed shoot on the under carriage of their vans for storage. With a fixed plate this limits storability options. When choosing a footplate design it is important to ask yourself the question ‘Do we have difficulty with storage?’ If the answer is yes then consider a folding plate, if no maybe fixed will suffice!

Sack Truck Mainframe options

The mainframe choices are purely designed around the application they are needed for. All our sack trucks are manufactured with high quality aluminium uprights and the cross members themselves are interchangeable.

As a standard we supply the uprights with three cross members creating our MFK frame, upgrade this to the MFL for a centre strip which is beneficial for carrying smaller boxes or parcels.

We also manufacture frames with a curved back, perfect for cylinder shape objects such as gas or water bottles or beer kegs.

For larger items such as flat pack furniture or for the taller users, we offer the MFKT frame which increases the overall height of the truck by 280mm. Overall the frame design most certainly comes down the application. If you are unsure what is best suited then feel free to get in touch!

Sack Truck Handles

H25BCOMPLETEWe offer many different handle configurations all of which are as strong as each other  but each have their own benefits.

Handle design is mostly on preference of the user. Some prefer the twin double grip handles while others prefer the more popular P-Handle design. Some handles such as the H25 (considered our most popular model) have knuckle guards for hand protection and also have a high loop to give support for taller loads.

For white goods delivery consider our H21B handles as they have a lower loop which, on request can be inverted allowing the user to maintain control of the product when tilting.

To view all handle configurations click here.

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Sack Truck Optional Extras

Once the general specification of the truck is designed, you may wish to consider adding some optional extras. Below are a few options we offer and their uses. Follow the links for more detail or simply call us.

  • Stair Glides – Cast aluminium with replaceable plastic strips with a weight of 1kg per pair. Stair glides are perfect if out delivering and regularly having to negotiate small kerbs / thresholds. If you are going up flights of stairs on a regular basis you may wish to look at our stair skid and handle combination (click here) These may not be required for use over flat surfaces such as in warehouses.
  • Wheel guards – Wheel guards have two very beneficial uses. Firstly they give the load more stability as they provide a larger surface area when the load is reclined. They also protect goods against spray back in wet conditions. Wheel guards are of use to many and are widely recommended.
  • Tote / Keg hooks – The tote hook and keg hook have similar uses with the overall aim being to secure the load to the sack truck. The tote hook is designed for our home shopping trucks and is supplied to many companies such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and more whilst the keg hook is designed to carry beer kegs and is generally used with the curved MFN / MFNS framed due to the shape of the kegs themselves. For products packed in boxes these extras are not likely to be required however for specific products they can be invaluable!
  • Load Assist Plate – The load assist plate is fitted through the stair glides although we are now able to supply if stair glides are not required by fitting through the axle brackets. The aim of the load assist plate is to provide a tilt assist. Whilst tilting the user would simply step on the plate using their own foot to help recline the load back. A good health and safety feature as it prevents strain / injury.
  • Frame extension – Maybe you are carrying taller loads that need some additional support? The frame extension could be the answer. It provides an extra height of 300mm and is easy to retro fit on existing sack trucks. Be aware that it is only compatible with some of our handle configurations. If you are looking at a handle that is not compatible then maybe the MFKT frame could be considered as an alternative to give the additional height.

Finally – Design your own Sack Truck using Design Online!

Now that you are more familiar with all the various sack truck types and options available why not design your own AluTruk to meet exactly your specific requirements?

We provide a design online capability to really help with designing your AluTruk! The design online option takes you through a step by step process allowing you to see the sack truck built in CAD format before you make a purchase.

You can add the optional extras, fit your preferred footplate and make choices on wheel and handle options.

As well as showing an image of the sack truck you have created, it also provides you with an instant price for the designed specification!

If at the end of this you are still have questions or concerns about which sack truck will best fit your needs then please just contact us – we are here to help and our sales team would be delighted to assist!

Need to move up to 1000kg – Easily and Safely?

BIL introduce the 1000kg load rated Polypropylene based platform truck and it’s in stock now.

Within many industries, weighty materials or products often require moving or relocating quickly in order to meet production, delivery or other deadlines. However with health and safety regulations being more tightly monitored (and rightly so!) when moving heavy items companies must make sure they are doing so safely – and that means purchasing and using the correct equipment for the task.
So if a company is going to meet it’s health and safety obligations when moving very heavy items how best can they do that?
The answer is simple. They need to find a supplier who can;

  • meet all their materials handling needs
  • provide the appropriate certification on all products they supply
  • ensure they have full confidence in the stated load capacities

You would be surprised at how many materials handling suppliers do not give accurate, trustworthy data regarding their products weight handling capabilities!

BIL Group are here to help with all your heavy materials handling needs.

Introducing the BIL 1000kg load rated Polypropylene based platform truck
Here at BIL we have recently introduced a brand new product to our range of equipment that is available from stock to dispatch on a next day delivery service! We are proud to be one of very few companies within the UK who are able to manufacture, supply and deliver a 1000kg load rated platform truck with polypropylene base!
This new platform truck – with its fully tested load capacity, combined with 950mm x 650mm base is suitable for a whole host of industries including, warehousing, construction, industrial and many more!
The 1000kg platform truck itself is fitted with a black powder coated, durable steel handle and four fully tested castors, two of which swivel and two fixed for ultimate control when under load. Different wheel options are also available on request to cater for every single application!
BIL’s new addition is delivered with minimal assembly required. Simply fit the castors and the handle using the nuts and bolts provided and you are good to go!
At BIL Group, adding new products to our range is something we consider very carefully. Due to our strict quality processes, any potential new products must pass all of our stringent quality testing checks. This is why you can trust the BIL Group as a high quality, reliable supplier and why you can also be sure that all of our products – including our acclaimed range of AluTruk®, Skoots, Skates and Jacks and our extensive range of Castors & wheels – will perform to their stated capabilities and not let you down.
BIL strive to be innovative and provide solutions to any of our customer’s material handling requirements. Simply ask and we aim to deliver!
In the next few weeks (December 2018) BIL Group will also be introducing a new variation of our AluTruk® range featuring the ability to be fixed in a 45 degree angle reducing strain on the user and allowing easy movement all round, if you feel this could be of interest – or if you would like any more information on our 1,000kg platform truck – please get in touch with our sales team on 01249 470433. They’d be delighted to hear from you.

Click to view
Heavy Duty Platform Truck with 950mm x 650mm deck space. Black powder coated fixed steel handle, blue platform base manufactured of high impact Polypropylene. Fitted with 2 x swivel and 2 x fixed 150mm polyurethane castors. Total Height 1050mm (deck height 250mm)
Load capacity 1,000kg.

BIL MATERIALS HANDLING DIVISION
A division of BIL Group Ltd Porte Marsh Road, Calne,
Wiltshire SN11 9BW United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1249 470433
Fax: +44 (0)1249 822 300
www.bilgroup.co.uk | sales@bilgroup.co.uk

Registered in England No: 2603821
VAT Reg: GB572705729

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